The Cowboys have one of the better receiving corps in the NFL. Their depth will be tested on Thanksgiving Day.
Amari Cooper will miss his second game as a result of a positive COVID test. That will knock out one of the Cowboys’ top two receivers.
Meanwhile, CeeDee Lamb is dealing with a concussion. He was limited in practice on Wednesday, but he wasn’t cleared by an independent neurologist to get on the field. He will be out of action as a result.
With Lamb and Cooper both out, Dallas will be starting some receivers that are talented but may not be familiar to the average NFL fan.
What will Dak Prescott’s collection of weapons look like for Turkey Day? And who might his No. 1 receiver be? Here’s a look at the Cowboys’ uncertain wide receiver depth chart before their Thursday afternoon clash with the Raiders.
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Cowboys WR depth chart
The Cowboys have one of the best receiving corps’ in the NFL when they’re healthy. Even with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb out against the Raiders, their depth is solid. Things would have been better had Lamb been able to play, but they still have four receivers who have proven to be quality players during their NFL careers.
1. Michael Gallup
Gallup has been a bit of a forgotten man in this Cowboys offense, as he has missed roughly half of Dallas’ season and has appeared in just three games to date. The fourth-year pass-catcher saw season highs in catches (5), targets (10) and receiving yards (44) last week against the Chiefs with Cooper (COVID) out and Lamb (concussion protocol) exiting the game early.
During his career, Gallup has averaged 15.2 yards per catch and had 1,107 receiving yards in 2019. The 6-1 receiver is a good downfield threat and will see plenty of targets as the No. 1 receiver with Cooper and Lamb out of action. Of course, he may also face coverage from the Raiders’ No. 1 corner, Casey Hayward, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
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2. Cedrick Wilson
The Cowboys were OK in the absence of Gallup because Wilson performed well in his stead. Wilson has played in 10 games and has racked up 316 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 23 catches. He has been the No. 3 receiver and hasn’t always seen a lot of targets — he has seen 34, good for sixth-most on the team — but he has broken some big plays.
Wilson has also thrown the occasional pass this season, and he has completed both of his attempts for 57 yards. Dallas will certainly look to get the ball in his hands at least a few times. He is averaging 13.7 yards per reception, which is second-most on the team to only Lamb among players with 10 or more receptions this season.
3. Noah Brown
Brown has emerged as a quality depth player for the Cowboys this year. He has caught just eight passes this season but has generated 117 yards. The 6-2, 225-pound receiver is a well-rounded backup who is both physical but can also serve as a down-the-field threat.
Brown has played 28 percent of the offensive snaps this year and has served as the No. 4 receiver for most of the season because of Gallup’s injury. He’ll be the No. 3 receiver this week and may see closer to 50 percent of the snaps depending on Dallas’ game plan at receiver.
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4. Malik Turner
Turner caught five of seven targets for 35 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys’ loss to the Broncos. His production came largely in garbage time, but he represents another big-bodied receiver that can catch make contested catches and will be bigger than most defensive backs.
Turner will be the No. 4 receiver on Thanksgiving. He could play a quarter to a third of the snaps like Brown has most of the year as the No. 4 receiver.
5. Simi Fehoko
Fehoko has played just four snaps on offense this season. He hasn’t yet been targeted and hasn’t been active since Week 3. He will dress with Lamb out, but the fifth-round rookie will only be an emergency depth option at receiver, in all likelihood.